How to Improve Your Company’s IT Infrastructure Services in 2015

Bolster Your Business in the New Year with an Enhanced IT Infrastructure Service

Internet security

For many businesses, the New Year is a time of reconfiguring budgets to align spending decisions with revised objectives and priorities. Given the many challenges companies face, from pricing to marketing to assessing the competition, IT infrastructure services sometimes get the short end of the stick.

That could be a costly mistake, especially for small businesses that have fewer resources to address IT challenges. According to one recent study, small businesses actually spend more on IT, per employee and as a percent of revenues, than midsize and large companies. On average, small businesses spend 6.9% of annual revenue on IT compared to 4.1% for midsize businesses and 3.2% for large businesses. That same study found that spending smart is better than spending more in achieving optimal results.

Faced with budgetary constraints, how can small businesses make cost-effective decisions to get the most out of their IT infrastructure services? Here are four cost-effective IT upgrades which you should consider implementing in 2015:

        1. Establish adequate support:

          There aren’t too many certainties in business, but encountering IT problems is a pretty safe bet. Unfortunately, smaller companies don’t always ensure that they have the technical support to address these issues when they arise. This usually results in their settling for inadequately trained in-house staff or manufacturers who don’t really have a stake in the outcome. However, it’s important to know that each company needs to work with an experienced IT consultant to assess their ability to handle potential IT problems. Either hire in-house expertise or establish a permanent relationship with a trusted IT partner who can provide the support you need to address IT issues.

        2. Replace aging equipment:

          According to a study from Microsoft, the average age of business PCs is 4.4 years, very close to their maximum life of 5 years. Holding off on replacing aging equipment might appear a cost-saving measure, but it’s actually likely to cost you more money. For one thing, older PCs won’t support many new applications. For another, these devices are more likely to fail, leading to increased costs for downtime and needed repairs, as well as the potential for compromised customer service. An experienced consultant or staff member can help assess the cost-effectiveness of hardware replacements.

        3. Make your infrastructure secure:

          US businesses lose more than $400 billion each year to hacking and other security failures. Many small and midsize companies may mistakenly assume that such attacks only target large corporations. In fact, hackers can now use automated programs to find insecure systems at businesses of any size. Protect yourself by installing the most up-to-date security solutions on your operating system and applications. You should also implement an employee-training program that includes policies on password creation, e-mail, and file sharing. Finally, make it a policy to have regular security audits aimed at identifying and correcting any weaknesses.

        4. Back up your data:

          A substantial data loss from security breaches or damaged hardware is, at best, expensive. It can also cause a business to fail. On average, the loss of key data costs a company 19 days’ productivity and increases the odds of business failure to 90% within two years of the loss. An experienced consultant will help you identify which data are most critical to business operations and which backup systems will provide the greatest degree of protection.

At Internet & Telephone, we believe that when it comes to upgrading IT infrastructure, always remember, “penny wise, pound foolish.” What at first might appear added expenses can save you substantially over time.

Consider the financial impact of IT changes you make over the long haul. Most importantly, don’t risk the viability of your business by placing infrastructure in the hands of employees without training them to address common challenges. Working with a reputable consultant will prove a sound investment in the long run.

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